10 things you need to know this morning in Australia


Good morning.

1. Data dump. It’s shaping up to be a big week for markets locally, kicking off with a deluge of domestic data led by July retail sales, Q2 GDP inputs and August house price data from CoreLogic, followed by Q2 GDP figures on Wednesday. Yep, it’s a doozy. Here’s everything you need to know for the week ahead.

2. The Australian dollar has opened the new trading week at the lowest level since early January 2016. The AUD/USD has now lost 11.6% from late January.

Investing.comAUD/USD Weekly Chart

At 7.55am AEST, the Aussie was down 0.01% to 0.7189.

3. The British PM is facing a coup. Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and the man who ran Theresa May’s 2017 election campaign, are reportedly plotting to oust the prime minister by destroying her Brexit vision. Meanwhile, May says the government will not accept any compromises to her Chequers Brexit plan “that are not in our national interest.” She also ruled out a second Brexit referendum, saying it would be a “gross betrayal” of democracy and trust.

4. Hypersonic weapons. The US Air Force is seeking hypersonic weapon concepts and development programs as a new arms race with China and Russia heats up. It comes as the US Navy conducted military drills in the South China Sea, where China has bolstered its military presence through the deployment of advanced warfighting systems, including jamming technology, anti-ship cruise missiles, and surface-to-air missiles.

5. From hypersonic weapons to “sonic attacks”. Scientists say microwave signals may have caused brain injuries to 33 US officials and their family members at embassies in Cuba and China. The victims suffered permanent hearing loss, severe headaches, loss of balance, brain swelling, and disruption to cognitive functions. If they’re right, we might owe the tinfoil hatters a big apology.

6. Bitcoin consolidated its gains over the weekend to edge further above $US7,000. The head of the SFOX crypto trading exchange said Bitcoin’s relative stability this year can be attributed to institutional investors, while the CBOE exchange announced plans to launch Ether futures later this year.

7. The Apple smartglasses are coming. Last week, Apple bought a small Colorado company that worked on lenses for augmented reality glasses. So it’s pretty clear at this point that the tech company is working on a pair of its own smartglasses. But what they’ll do and Apple’s design priorities are still secret, and matter more than the technology that the company decides to buy and use. While we’re on the topic of Apple, it turns out that a small percentage of iPhone 8 devices have a manufacturing defect but don’t worry, Apple says it will fix them for free — here’s how to see if you’re affected.

8. Here’s a look at SpaceX’s latest plan for colonising Mars:

The presentation by SpaceX’s lead Mars mission engineer, Paul Wooster, reveals new details about the plan to reach Mars in six years, including the idea that SpaceX seems to view itself primarily as a transportation company, and wants outside help to develop its surface missions and Mars colonisation technologies.

9. Donald Trump has visited his golf courses on 25% of his 590 days in office. It’s a bit rich coming from the guy who once said that, as President, he was “not going to have time to go play golf”, but has spent more time doing so than his predecessors.

10. Here’s a disgusting statistic for you: There are more cigarette butts in the world’s oceans than any other type of garbage. Most of the roughly 5.5 trillion cigarettes manufactured globally every year contain a plastic-based filter that can take decades to decompose after the butt has been discarded. Perhaps, rather than fighting over whether you can get a plastic bag at Coles or Woolies, we should focus on this.

BONUS ITEM: Nick Kyrgios’ reaction to this most astonishing shot by Roger Federer sums up why the Swiss champion is the greatest tennis player of all time.

Have a great day.

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